The United States Political System

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The United States political system is dominated by an intense battle for power. Those who have control, have the ability to influence the way our nation is operated. While every citizen has the opportunity to impact politics, some citizens and groups are at a disadvantage. In America, we struggle to ensure that every individual has a chance to equally participate in the political process. Although anyone can run for political office in the United States, the cost of a campaign is expensive. Throughout their campaign, candidates spend money on research, ads, speaking engagements, and other activities to promote their name and policy to the public. The average amount of money spent in 2012 on a candidate elected to the House of Representatives was just under 1.6 million dollars (The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), Row 1). In the senate, the candidate who won the 2012 election spent on average 11.5 million dollars (CRP, Row 1). Even being elected to a position in a state legislature comes at a cost. In the 2010 election, the average candidate running for a seat in a state’s House of Representatives spent 56,142 dollars (Casey et al., 2001). The cost of a political campaign jeopardizes the ability of candidates with limited funding to competitively contend in elections. The U.S. Census Bureau reported in 2010 that the annual median income in America was 52,646 dollars (DeNavas-Walt & Proctor, 23). Without financial assistance, over 50% of Americans could not match the
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